Softball: Tampa Bay area report — May 14, 2024

The softball playoffs continue tonight with region semifinal games. The winners advance to the region finals on Friday. Below are the second-round pairings — and capsules– featuring local teams in each class.

Class 7A

Region 2
No. 5 Palm Harbor University (19-6) at No. 1 Windermere (21-4), 4:30

After losing to Steinbrenner by a run in the 7A-7 district final, the Hurricanes bounced back by beating Newsome 6-4 in the region quarterfinals. PHU recorded 11 hits, including two each by Jessica Baker, Emily Boylan, Katie Fasting and Ariana Silva. The Wolverines, the top seed in the region, have won their last four games by a combined 28-2.

No. 6 Durant (18-8) at No. 2 Steinbrenner (20-8), 7

This is a rematch from a game the Warriors won 5-2 in March. Steinbrenner, the 7A-7 district champions, are on a four-game win streak, the last coming against Sumner in the region quarterfinals. Lily Holtje powered the offense by hitting a pair of homers and driving in three runs. The 7A-6 district champion Cougars also have won four straight games. They kept their streak intact by beating East Ridge 7-6 in 10 innings in the quarterfinals. Durant manufactured runs by drawing eight walks and taking advantage of their four hits.

Class 6A

Region 2
No. 3 Wiregrass Ranch (25-2) at No. 2 East Lake (24-2), 7

A premier matchup between area teams that have a combined four losses this season. The 6A-5 district champion Eagles have won 10 straight games. They maintained their streak by cruising to a 10-0 win over Riverdale in the quarterfinals. Lucy Mondok threw a perfect game with five strikeouts and Meagan Bostak led the offense by going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. The Bulls bounced back from a loss to Gaither in the 6A-6 district final to beat Punta Gorda Charlotte 3-2 in eight innings in the quarterfinals. Chloe Troupe had a double and drove in two of Wiregrass Ranch’s three runs. Stephanie Daly went all eight innings and recorded five strikeouts.

No. 5 Palmetto (15-10) at No. 1 Bloomingdale (26-1), 7

The teams split their two meetings so far with the Tigers winning the last one in the 6A-7 district final to end the Bulls’ bid for a perfect season. Despite that loss, Bloomingdale was able to claim the top seed in the region and set up a rematch by getting past Gaither 4-1 in the region quarterfinals. Natalie Cable threw a three-hitter, allowing one earned run while striking out 17. She also added a homer at the plate. Other stars on offense included Bryanna Rawlings and Paige Sanchez, who each had two hits. The Tigers have won five of their last six games.

Class 5A

Region 2
No. 4 River Ridge (16-11) at No. 1 Horizon (21-5), 7

The Royal Knights rebounded from a loss to Wesley Chapel in the 5A-7 district final to beat Springstead 4-2 in the region quarterfinals. Kylie Schuler threw a complete game, allowing two earned runs while striking out six. And Jacqleen Golden hit a solo homer. Now, River Ridge has to go on the road to take on the top-seeded Hawks, winners of six straight games.

No. 3 Auburndale (12-14) at No. 2 Osceola (18-10), 7

The Warriors are putting it all together — on offense and defense. In the region quarterfinals, Osceola routed Lecanto 11-0 to extend its win streak to three games. Aliyah Lai threw a no-hit shutout with eight strikeouts and Theresa Diez and Addison Futch each had a double and a homer and drove in a combined seven runs. In their last three games, the Warriors have outscored foes by a combined 31-1. Despite an uneven season, the Bloodhounds have some momentum with wins in three of their last four games.

Region 3
No. 5 Northeast (14-5) at No. 1 Parrish Community (16-8), 7

The Vikings have a tough task going on the road to face the defending state champion Bulls. But Northeast knows how to play in challenging games. After all, the Vikings lost by a run each to East Lake and Palm Harbor University, both of which are still alive in the playoffs. Last week, Northeast extended its win streak to four with a 7-2 victory over Naples Barron Collier in the quarterfinals. Danielle Brunner threw a four-hitter and recorded 12 strikeouts. On offense, Lashell Roberts was the lone player to have multiple hits.

Class 4A

Region 3
No. 3 Clearwater (17-7) at No. 2 Hardee (20-5), 7

The Tornadoes bounced back from a loss to Dunedin in the 4A-10 district final to rout Bonita Springs 12-2 in the region quarterfinals. Morgan Maske was the star on offense, going 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs. Sydney Wilhelm also drove in three runs. On the mound, Megan Kimmett threw a five-hitter and recorded eight strikeouts. The Wildcats, the 4A-11 district champions, are on a three-game win streak.

Class 3A

Region 3
No. 3 Berkeley Prep (21-70 at No. 2 Calvary Christian (20-5), 6

This is the first time the title contenders have squared off since March of last year. After starting the season 4-3, the two-time defending state champion Warriors have won 16 of their last 18 games. In the region quarterfinals, Calvary Christian beat Frostproof 8-0 to extend its win streak to 11 games. Morgen Talley threw a two-hit shutout with nine strikeouts and Irianis Garcia went 3-for-4 with a triple, a double, four RBIs and two runs scored. After a 1-3 stretch, the Buccaneers got back on track in a big way with a 9-0 victory over Lakeland McKeel Academy in the quarterfinals. Avery Powers recorded a one-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts and Kaia Cortes went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs.

No. 4 Fort Myers Bishop Verot (21-6-1) at No. 1 Academy of the Holy Names (18-5), 7

The Jaguars, who started 6-5, turned their season around with 12 straight wins to help them claim the top seed in the region. Six of those wins have come via shutouts, including last week’s 3-0 victory over Lake Placid in the region quarterfinals. Keala Hollenkamp threw a one-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts and Elise McQuistan had a homer and drove in two of Academy of the Holy Names’ three runs. The 3A-12 district champion Vikings enter on a three-game win streak.

Class 2A

Region 2
No. 3 Academy at the Lakes (17-11) at No. 2 Foundation Academy (15-7), 7

After enduring a three-game losing streak — all against quality opponents — to close out the regular season, the Wildcats made sure there was a payoff for playing such tough games. The result? A three-game win streak, including a 6-3 victory over Melbourne Central Catholic in the region quarterfinals. Molly Blackwood led the offense by going 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBIs. The Lions are looking to rebound after going 2-4 in their last six games.